Here's a quick rundown of the goings-on, as our enviro-elites meet in Denmark:
The "endangerment finding." The US EPA has all the authority it needs to move on regulating carbon. It just needs to come to the conclusion that carbon emissions constitute a danger to public health, which it did this week. Frankly I think this is really just another facet of the Administration's stimulus package - more corporate lawyers are going to be paid thanks to this single decision than pretty much anything else EPA does...
File under, "duh." The earth is warming. This decade will likely be the warmest on record, and 2009 is shaping up to be the 5th most warm year. Brought to you by the World Meteorological Society.
Bangladesh goes Oliver Twist. When it comes to funding to fight climate change, The Bangladeshi government says, "please sir, I want some more." As in 15 percent of any fund that is created to fight climate change. While most American's can't find Bangladesh on a map, Think about 20 million people displaced if the oceans rise by one meter. That's more than the entire population of Florida.
And speaking of funding... Developing nations say the EU proposal of 7.2 billion Euros (about $10.6 billion) over three years to help poor countries deal with climate change is a bit like Han Solo throwing the bartender a few bucks right after he shoots Greedo.
Gordon Brown talks tough. The British Prime Minister wants the EU to strengthen its carbon reduction goals. No surprise here. Politically he's on the ropes back home and he needs to look strong on this issue. Of course, it's easy to talk tough when you're calling for things beyond your control...
US, China become frenemies. So we're all, "China really wants to pollute more and they're trying to make it look like they're cutting carbon and they're really not," and they're all, "yeah, well the US promised a boatload of cash to poor countries to fight climate change and they didn't do it." And yet you can see that look in the bureaucrats eyes that shows they really love each other but don't want anyone else to know. You know, because they keep lending us money and we keep buying their stuff.
Sarah Palin says something to get attention and the media falls for it again. I want to be respectful of the former Governor, but let's face it, that op-ed was a joke. We need serious people to work on this issue in an intellectually honest manner, and we need to be at the table for major negotiations on serious issues. This op-ed (and I'm not sure she wrote it herself) added nothing constructive to the discussion. She has every right to say it, but I don't think it was helpful.
OH NO YOU DIDN'T WRITE AN IDEA DOWN ON PAPER! And speaking of saying things, apparently discussion drafts are no longer fashionable. Seems some "rich" countries put some thoughts on paper in advance of the meeting, and some developing countries got mad because the thoughts helped those rich countries more than developing countries, and there's only supposed to be one idea on paper at a time. Or something. I'm sorry but I can't get too upset about this. People develop negotiating strategies in advance of negotiations all the time. On occasion those strategies will be put on paper. It doesn't mean they become the final product. (See "reform, health care.")
Global Voices makes a splash. I've been waiting for the GVO special section on Copenhagen, and it didn't disappoint. They have 4 bloggers on site - from Kenya, Brazil, Ghana, and Maldives. They're tracking the citizen media about Copenhagen - NOBODY else is doing this like they can.